April 4, 2016

Mercy Medical Center receives grant to assist victims of sexual assault and domestic violence

Mercy Medical Center received the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant award of $413,392 from the Crime Victims Section of the Office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. These funds allowed for the training of additional physicians, nurses and social workers, as well as the purchase of two state-of-the-art forensic cameras for Mercy Medical Center’s HAVEN (Healing After Violent Encounters Network) Program. 

“Sarah Schemmel, program coordinator for Mercy’s Haven Program, and Mercy Development Foundation staff worked diligently to meet the grant submission guidelines, which led to this award,” said Thomas E. Cecconi, president and CEO at Mercy Medical Center. “We passionately believe in this program, which ensures victims are treated promptly by trained professionals in a safe, compassionate and confidential environment.” 

Stark County’s First Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program
In 1999 Mercy Medical Center established Stark County’s first Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, which strives to ensure sexual assault victims are treated promptly by trained professionals in a safe, compassionate and confidential environment. In 2011, Mercy Medical Center began partnering with Domestic Violence Project, Inc. to provide comprehensive medical care, evidence collection, safety planning and supportive options to survivors of domestic violence in need of specialized assistance. This collaboration was the first of its kind in Stark County and has increased survivors’ access to medical services while minimizing safety risks. Mercy’s program has been renamed HAVEN to represent its expanded scope of services to victims of both sexual assault and domestic violence. 

Mercy’s HAVEN Program provides immediate specialized nursing care, evidence collection, support and options to victims of assault, age 14 and older. Victims under the age of 14 are referred to The Children’s Network of Stark County Child Advocacy Center or Akron Children’s Hospital. Mercy’s forensic nurse examiners will also provide community education on topics such as sexual assault, domestic violence and personal safety.

Dedicated Nurses
Mercy SANE or forensic nurse examiners (FNE) are registered nurses who have completed at least 40 hours of training in providing comprehensive physical and emotional care to the sexual assault patient, sexual assault evidence collection, and testifying effectively in court. Additional training also includes live patient simulation and photograph documentation. 

“If you seek treatment at Mercy Emergency Department, you will receive kindness and respect from a nurse dedicated only to your care,” Schemmel said.


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